Invoking your own childhood in an unrealistic way

Invoking your own childhood in an unrealistic way
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If you want your child to feel safe sharing important and personal information with you, you have to make it completely safe to do so.

That means not judging or explaining how you would never have made these (read: dumb) choices.

It doesn’t mean that actions don’t have consequences – only that your child is able to come to you with issues, or when they’re in a pickle.

“It’s very important for parents to show their child appreciation for confiding or sharing things that are difficult,” Dr Bernstein says.

“Too many parents let their own anxiety lead to judgment instead of thanking their child or teen for taking taking the risk to share difficult feelings.”


Being too detailed in a way that's not age-appropriate

Being too detailed in a way that's not age-appropriate
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Parents often lie to their kids about situations they’re uncomfortable discussing, such as when a family member is incarcerated, or when a parent begins dating after a divorce.

Children don’t need every detail of difficult situations, but they do deserve to know the basic truth.

“Children need to know a bit about what’s going on between their mum and dad when there is parental conflict,” Kathy Eugster says.

“You need to be honest with your child in a brief and reassuring manner. You should not, however, provide them with any long explanations or emotional details of the conflict. A brief explanation that Mum and Dad are having problems getting along with each other or agreeing on things, and that there is some effort being made to work things out or get help is all that’s necessary. It’s important also,” she adds, “to reassure your child that you will always love him or her.”

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